Jarrett Bell of USA Today had a report Friday that former LSU cornerback and potential 2013 draftee Tyrann Mathieu told teams that he failed at least 10 drug tests while in college.
An unnamed coach who spoke to Bell said that allowing Mathieu to fail that many tests “shows that he got no kind of help” from LSU. Mathieu and LSU have both responded, with the cornerback saying that the school did try to help him battle a marijuana habit that Mathieu admitted he put in front of football.
“It is irresponsible and shows a lack of integrity for anyone to disclose medical information regardless of how it was gathered,” Mathieu said. “I would expect that conversations regarding my drug testing history during the course of my medical treatment would be private. LSU has a strong drug testing program and LSU went to great lengths to help me in my treatment and recovery. I understand that many people enjoy reading about the negative side of sports, but to publish those second-hand comments without being given a chance to address that comment prior to the publication of the article is irresponsible.”
Joe Alleva, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics at LSU, also issued a statement.
“LSU has a strong substance abuse program that tries to identify and assist in the treatment and long term recovery process of drug use and abuse, and it is a program we would put up against any in the country,” Alleva said. “Once a substance abuse problem is identified, LSU is diligent in tracking those individuals over extended periods of time with frequent testing and engages them in meaningful opportunities for support through counseling and substance abuse treatment.”
While both men dispute the notion that LSU didn’t try to help Mathieu, there’s less specific pushback as to what Mathieu said about the number of drug tests. Mathieu has said he’s done with marijuana, but Friday’s report illustrates how big a red flag his former habit raises for teams that might be interested in drafting him.